Arcam Solo Mini v NaimUnitiQuite

MattL2009

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I'm just after general advice, I know the only way to really judge is to listen. I understand the difference between the house styles on Arcam and Naim is that Arcam is a little more laid back, whist Naim is more upfront. Because of size restrictions I need to go for a small unit, so it need to be one of these two. (On a cosmetic basis I prefer the uniti, I have nothing silver in the room!). Anyway, just some random thoughts/questions

1) Given that most of my music is currently on CD, would the solo mini be better? Does the sound of stuff transferred from CD get notably compromised on the Naim unit?

2) Given that I'm a technical novice, I assume I have to upload my CDs to my computer and then get my computer to talk to the unitiquite. Is this easy?

3) Is the Naim unit a better longer term investment, given the future of CD?

Any other advice or comments would help. The budget isn't really an issue.

Thanks
 

CnoEvil

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Hi Matt, I'll do what I can to help.

A good streamer should always sound better than a CDP at similar money. This is because, when you rip a CD, it can take its time and get a perfect rip, whereas a CDP is having to error correct in real time. There is also the fact that there isn't the inherent problems associated with having moving parts.

The best solution is to get a NAS and store your music on there (ripped by your PC using something like dB Poweramp ); or more expensively, something like a RipNas, which rips, stores and catalogues all in one independant unit. Good info here: https://www.ripcaster.co.uk/

I think any streamer is a better long term bet than CD. Don't just confine yourself to Naim; there are also great products from Linn, Cyrus and Olive (some quality problems).

Hope this helps

Cno
 
Matt

I wouldn't get too hung up on on the "error correction" thing. I think we all - including yours truly - can get a little carried away with technology, and technically the "correction" thing is right. However, in my (limited) experience with streamers they aren't the 'All singing, all dancing' solutions as some make out.

What's more important is how a unit sounds, what speakers you have and room acoustics...

The OP also mentioned the future of CDs: No-one really knows how long the format will be around for, but can't see any viable alternatives within the next 5 years.

There are some wonderful streamers around but you'll need to compare for yourself and decide whether it do outperform streamers and other modern fandangled formats.
 

CnoEvil

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plastic penguin said:
Matt

I wouldn't get too hung up on on the "error correction" thing. I think we all - including yours truly - can get a little carried away with technology, and technically the "correction" thing is right. However, in my (limited) experience with streamers they aren't the 'All singing, all dancing' solutions as some make out.

What's more important is how a unit sounds, what speakers you have and room acoustics...

The OP also mentioned the future of CDs: No-one really knows how long the format will be around for, but can't see any viable alternatives within the next 5 years.

With respect PP I disagree. I have directly compared playing a CD on a Majik CDP, with playing the ripped version on a Majik DS. The result...well let's put it this way, I can see why Linn ceased production of their CDPs.

The viable alternative to CD is already well on its way. Downloads are here to stay and 24 bit is making ever bigger inroads.
In 5 years time, I am expecting to be able to stream from the likes of Spotify at 16 bit (maybe even 24 bit). All this means a streamer is more future proof, as well as better sounding, with easier access to your music collection (eg. A NAS with any UPnP devise).

I'm a complete luddite where all this is concerned, but this is my view nevertheless. ;)
 

amcluesent

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>Any other advice or comments would help. The budget isn't really an issue.<

How about the UnitiQute plus a Stello CDT100 CD transport connected by S/PDIF ? They're within a few mm in width, so would stack nicely and you could sell on the CDT100 when you're finished ripping.
 
A

Anonymous

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I've heard Naim Uniti and I didn't quite like it.

I found it very detailed, precise but cold-sounding. In many cases, bright
 

chebby

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ponkine said:
I've heard Naim Uniti and I didn't quite like it.

I found it very detailed, precise but cold-sounding. In many cases, bright

The OP is talking about the Naim UnitiQute and not the NaimUniti.

They are different in power, functions/features, size, sound and (of course) price.
 
A

Anonymous

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I know the OP has said that budget isn't an issue but what about demoing the Marantz CR603?

I think he'd be surprised at actually how good it is!
 
CnoEvil said:
plastic penguin said:
Matt

I wouldn't get too hung up on on the "error correction" thing. I think we all - including yours truly - can get a little carried away with technology, and technically the "correction" thing is right. However, in my (limited) experience with streamers they aren't the 'All singing, all dancing' solutions as some make out.

What's more important is how a unit sounds, what speakers you have and room acoustics...

The OP also mentioned the future of CDs: No-one really knows how long the format will be around for, but can't see any viable alternatives within the next 5 years.

With respect PP I disagree. I have directly compared playing a CD on a Majik CDP, with playing the ripped version on a Majik DS. The result...well let's put it this way, I can see why Linn ceased production of their CDPs. The viable alternative to CD is already well on its way. Downloads are here to stay and 24 bit is making ever bigger inroads. In 5 years time, I am expecting to be able to stream from the likes of Spotify at 16 bit (maybe even 24 bit). All this means a streamer is more future proof, as well as better sounding, with easier access to your music collection (eg. A NAS with any UPnP devise). I'm a complete luddite where all this is concerned, but this is my view nevertheless. ;)

Hold on Cno - I am talking purely ripped cds (the dealer ripped my Elvis Costello album), not streaming. For me, after hearing the Olive and Naim HDX, they don't offer as good VFM as a standalone CDP. Sorry, but no nothing or no-one will ever convince me otherwise. And when talking about Linn Majik it's in a totally different ballpark - certainly beyond my means. This is all very interesting, and streamers - at the level the OP is mentioning - offers an enticing alternative, not necessarily better.
 

CnoEvil

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plastic penguin said:
Hold on Cno - I am talking purely ripped cds (the dealer ripped my Elvis Costello album), not streaming. For me, after hearing the Olive and Naim HDX, they don't offer as good VFM as a standalone CDP. Sorry, but no nothing or no-one will ever convince me otherwise. And when talking about Linn Majik it's in a totally different ballpark - certainly beyond my means. This is all very interesting, and streamers - at the level the OP is mentioning - offers an enticing alternative, not necessarily better.

PP, you know me well enough to know I wasn't having a go, just putting an alternative POV. :)

It is my understanding, that once a CD has been ripped onto a hard drive or NAS, the process of turning 1s and 0s into sound, can be called streaming.

For you to have made a decent judgement, you would needed to have heard these on your own system and at home. There is also the fact you didn't hear the Sneaky, so I have no point of reference, as I prefer Linn's presentation to that of Olive or Naim.

Anyway, at the end of the day, it's "horses for courses"....you will have more insight when you get that Dac of yours hooked up. :p
 
I know you weren't having a go.

My personal gripe is too many dismiss the established formats. Even when WHFI did a Big Q a few months ago, comparing streaming with CDPs, they concluded that although streaming is impressive - and will suit some - it hasn't quite become the all-conquering format... yet. So although I might sound like a 'basket case'
smiley-wink.gif
I've always been consistent with my views, in addition to other opinions.

Yup, when I heard the HDX and Olive it was in direct comparison with my CD73, but the amp and speakers were different to my home set-up.
 

CnoEvil

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plastic penguin said:
I know you weren't having a go.

My personal gripe is too many dismiss the established formats. Even when WHFI did a Big Q a few months ago, comparing streaming with CDPs, they concluded that although streaming is impressive - and will suit some - it hasn't quite become the all-conquering format... yet. So although I might sound like a 'basket case'
smiley-wink.gif
I've always been consistent with my views, in addition to other opinions.

Yup, when I heard the HDX and Olive it was in direct comparison with my CD73, but the amp and speakers were different to my home set-up.

I suppose the question is (from the OP's perspective), whether it's wise to make a long term investment in CD as a physical format, when things are changing so fast.
 

Dan Turner

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Matt - there is no inherent reason why a CD played back directly and a rip of the CD played back should be any better or worse than each other. Perhaps things are stacked slightly in favour of hard-disk replay because the hark disk replay doesn't occur in real time and does not require on-the-fly error correction, but in practice a decent CD player will read a disc in good condition perfectly. In my experience streaming has not really changed to rules of the game where value for money is concerned, you still have to spend the same sort of money on a streamer as you would on a CD player to get something of equivalent quality.

Ripping CDs is pretty easy; use something like iTunes (make sure you set the import preferences so you're using a lossless or uncompressed format) and you can't go far wrong. Then in order to stream to the unitiqute you need to get a piece of software called a upnp server running on your computer, then as long as the computer and UQ are connected to the same network, that's pretty much it.

So I would make the decision purely about which you prefer sonically. Having said that, if you get the chance to play with the control interface of the UQ you might just decide that the convenience of streaming wins the day.

Enjoy choosing!
 

MattL2009

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I wasn't aware that Cyrus did a similar system. The prospect of that quite excites me - I used to have a Cyrus CD and Amp years ago and loved the sound. Might be one to add to the list. Anybody had experience of that?
 

CnoEvil

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Matt, I heard the Cyrus Streamline (has built in amp) with some Linn Majik 109s,and it sounded very good.

WHF review here: http://www.whathifi.com/review/cyrus-streamline
 

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